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Speaker for the Dead

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Short Summary Edit

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

Detailed Summary Edit

Spoiler Warning: Plot details follow

Three thousand planet-bound years have fled since Ender Wiggin won humanity's war with the Formics by completely destroying them. Ender remains young - traveling the stars at relativistic speeds, decades pass by on Earth while he experiences a month-long voyage. In three thousand years, his books The Hive Queen and The Hegemon have been written, and the name of Ender anathema; he is the Xenocide, the one who killed an entire race of thinking, feeling beings, the only other sentient race humankind had found in all the galaxy. The only ones, that is, until the planet called Lusitania was discovered and colonized.

On Lusitania humans found another race of ramen ... a young race, beings just beginning to lift their eyes to the stars and wonder what might be out there. The discovery was seen as a gift to humanity, a chance to redeem the destruction of the Buggers. And so the Pequeninos, as they were named by the Portuguese-speaking settlers, also called the "Piggies," or the "Little Ones" were set off-limits to the colony. The only humans allowed to meet them and speak with them are trained xenobiologists, and then only two at a time. This time, there will be no tragic misunderstandings leading to war. This time...

This time, again, men die bizarrely killed by the Pequeninos. Andrew Wiggin is called to Lusitania to Speak the deaths of the two xenobiologists, and walks into a maelstrom of fear and hatred. To Speak for these dead, he must first unravel the web of secrets surrounding the lives of the Pequeninos and those who study them. He must Speak not only for the dead, but for a living alien race.

Praise Edit

"SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD is a tale of guilt and tragedy driven by fear of the alien, by lack of empathy...Less brash than Ender's Game, SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD may be a much better book. Don't miss it!"
— Analog
"Told with compassion and keen insight, this powerful sequel to Ender's Game is highly recommended."
— Library Journal
"The most powerful work Card has produced. SPEAKER not only completes Ender's Game, it transcends it."
— Fantasy Review
"There aren't too many recent sf novels we can confidently call truly moral works, but SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD is one. Full of careful characterization, intriguing scientific, especially anthropological, speculation, and a fictional challenge to our capacity to define humanity inclusively rather than exclusively, it's a completely gripping story."
— The Toronto Star
"The book is complex, both in historical perspective and story line, The intricate relationships between the main characters are an integral part of the tale. Card draws us into their lives, giving us insight into their thoughts and feelings and getting us involved in the twists and turns of this very intimate story."
— United Press International

Awards Edit

  • Nebula Award - Best Novel, 1986
  • Hugo Award- Best Novel, 1987
  • Locus Award- Best Novel, 1987

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